19 Jun 2007

Call for New Zealand to initiate dialogue with Fiji to hasten return to democracy

2:16 pm on 19 June 2007

A Wellington based Indon-Fijian businessman says the expulsion of New Zealand diplomat Michael Green from Fiji is barbaric act, especially since he has been speaking up for democracy.

Salim Singh, who runs an immigration consultancy, says the expulsion reflects the insecurities of a regime that does not have the universal support of the people of Fiji.

Mr Singh says at least 60 percent of his company's clients are from Fiji and the stream of people leaving shows the level of dissatisfaction with the current state of affairs there.

But Mr Singh says New Zealand should lead the push to open a dialogue.

"I now propose that New Zealand should be instrumental in having an eminent persons group led by someone like former prime minister of New Zealand, Mr Bolger, to get people around the conference table and talk. Because it is very important that people should start talking before we lose sight of the reality and the real need for Fiji to return to parliamentary democracy."